27 Feb 2006

American Samoa's Congressman accuses the region of hypocrisy over Papua

11:20 am on 27 February 2006

American Samoa's congressman has criticised governments in the region for turning a blind eye to the issue of the right to self-determination by the people of Papua.

As a member of the US House International Relations committee, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin raised the issue of Papua with the secretary of state Condoleeza Rice earlier this month.

He said Dr Rice's response was that the US policy remains not to question Indonesia's territorial integrity.

Faleomavaega says the United Nations, the US and Pacific countries like Australia and New Zealand, should give the people of Papua the same opportunity that they gave to the people of East Timor - the right to self-determination....

"We've become very hypocritical. We preach democracy on one hand and then here are these people fighting tyranny and fighting the fact that for forty years they've been tortured and murdered - all forms of atrocities - and nobody pays any attention to this."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has called on Australian Prime Minister John Howard to look squarely at the issue.